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VN news ticker: Ellen van Dijk leads Healthy Ageing Tour on stage 2 win, Egan Bernal aims for Giro d’Italia podium

Here's what's making headlines on Thursday, March 11.

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Ellen van Dijk wins second stage time trial at Healthy Ageing Tour

Dutch rider Ellen van Dijk (Trek-Segafredo) won the stage 2 time trial at the 2021 Healthy Ageing Tour.

Covering the 14.4km in a time of 20:53, she beat Amy Pieters (SD Worx) and Lisa Brennauer (Ceratizit-WNT) by 26 seconds and 30 seconds, respectively.

The stage was delayed for five hours when race officials put a hold on the start due to adverse weather conditions. As a precautionary safety measure, riders were asked to bring road bikes to the start house, in addition to their time trial bikes.

Van Dijk leads the general classification going into Friday’s final stage.

2021 Healthy Ageing Tour stage 2 results
1. Ellen van Dijk (Trek-Segafredo), 20:53
2. Amy Pieters (Team SD Worx), at 0:26
3. Lisa Brennauer (Geratizit-WNT Pro Cycling Team), at 0:29

2021 Healthy Ageing Tour general classification
1. Ellen van Dijk (Trek-Segafredo), 3:34:56
2. Amy Pieters (Team SD Worx), at 0:23
3. Lisa Brennauer (Geratizit-WNT Pro Cycling Team), at 0:25

Egan Bernal aims for Giro d’Italia podium

Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) is more encouraged about recovering from back problems that torpedoed his 202o Tour de France following a strong early season results so far in 2021. After hitting third at Strade Bianche, the 2019 Tour winner also warned that a one-day race is very different than what his body will endure during a three-week grand tour.

“It’s going to be a very long process,” Bernal told RTVE. “I’m still feeling a bit of pain during some parts of the race. Right now, I’ve only raced races of one day or four days, and that’s very different than a grand tour. We’ll have to wait to see how the back responds during the Giro.

“I’m dreaming of being on the Giro podium,” he said. “I won’t be able to control everything, but what I want is to be competitive, to be there, to put on a show, and above all, give 100 percent. I don’t want to have fear if I attack that it will hurt or if I do an effort, it will hurt my back. If my body lets me push myself, whatever the result, that would be a win for me, especially after what I lived through last year.”

ASO to change final weekend of Paris-Nice

Race organizers at Paris-Nice are working on a plan to alter the stages of the final two days in the “Race to the Sun” following an order from local authorities.

Officials are insisting that the start of Saturday’s stage as well as the start and finish of Sunday’s finale, all slated to  be held in Nice, be moved beyond the larger urban area.

Overnight, the mayor of Nice had asked race organizers to alter the finish of Sunday’s finale of Paris-Nice.

Christian Estrosi outlined his reasoning in a series of messages on Twitter, and appealed to ASO to not finish the final stage on its traditional finishing straight on the Promenade des Anglais. The mayor wants to open the seafront along the French Riviera to the larger public Sunday following a long period of health restrictions.

Last year, Paris-Nice was cut short and the final stage, which starts and finishes on the main boulevard along Nice’s beachfront, was removed from the race.